rubber bands

The Role of Rubber Bands

February 3rd, 2023

What are Elastics or Rubber Bands?

Braces work by applying gentle, consistent pressure to the teeth. The pressure causes teeth to move slowly into the desired position. Elastics, or rubber bands, are used in some cases to create additional pressure to move your teeth. By wearing the elastic rubber bands consistently, you will keep your treatment on track.

The Purpose of Elastics

Rubber bands stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets. These elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position.  However, for them to work you need to wear them consistently – every day – as directed by Dr. Douglas Barden.  

You will also need to replace the elastics on your braces every day. It is also common for elastics to break and need to be replaced.  In some cases, patients will need to remove the elastics during meals if it is difficult to open their mouth wide enough to eat.  Our staff will teach you how to replace your elastics.

Important things to remember

  • Keep extra rubber bands on hand so that you can replace them if one breaks. Let us know if you run out and need more. Give us a call or stop by our Whitefish Bay office to pick up some more!
  • Rubber bands might cause your teeth to be tender or sore.  This is due to your teeth moving and means that treatment is working! The tenderness only lasts for a day or two.
  • Remember to wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.
  • Show your creativity! Pick colors that you love to show your unique personality.

 Be Sure to Change your Elastics as Directed by Dr. Barden

  • Wearing elastics consistently is important for the treatment to progress on schedule. However, do not double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure and can harm the root of the tooth. Be sure to follow Dr. Barden’s instructions!
  • If you forget to wear the rubber bands one day, just be sure to put them in the next day. But do not “double up” on the elastics to “make up” for the missed day.
  • Don’t overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it be ineffective. If your rubber bands have “lost their stretch” replace them even if they have not broken. 

For treatment to be most effective (and on schedule!) follow Dr. Barden’s instructions, wear the elastics faithfully, and keep your appointments.  Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about your elastics.

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